ESOL in Goochland County

Just another Goochland County Schools Blogs Sites site

ESOL in Goochland County - Just another Goochland County Schools Blogs Sites site

Mural Projects; Social Justice and Social Preservation

 

This past month, my students wrapped up with the second step of the 2014 G-21 project. Part 1 of our project consisted of  discovering the history behind the Mexican Revolution and analyzing the art of Diego Rivera “Dream of a Sunday Afternoon.” To tie into the theme of murals, students created digital murals through the use of technology in Part 2, G-21 project.

This part of the project involved extensive research and written artist statements, which tied in elements of literature such as universal themes, symbolism, and imagery. Each student chose social justice or preservation issues. Students were required to demonstrate how they are involved in addressing the problem through the creation of personal images or symbols in their murals. They created their murals in three separate drawing templates on google docs.

Finally, students demonstrated knowledge of their research by preparing presentations and presenting their murals to classes throughout GMS and GHS. Thanks to collaborating teachers, Ms. Ray (English 6), Ms. Brooks (English 6), Ms. Falconer (Social Studies 6) Mr. Rooke (GHS World Languages), Ms. Exum (GHS World Languages), and Ms. Kimberly (GHS World Languages). Each teacher graciously allowed my students to present their murals in their classrooms. Thank you to the Goochland County students at GMS and GHS who were incredibly respectful and supportive of my English as Second Language students-many of which have accents and limited English. Because of such amazing student support and interest, students confidence was boosted.

Attached are the WIDA templates I created that tie VA SOL (Standards of Learning) to the WIDA ELD (English Language Definition) standards.

Reading/Writing: Mural_WIDA_Rubric

Writing: Mural_WIDA_Rubric_2

Speaking: Mural WIDA_Rubric_3

Also, attached is the step-by-step worksheet that students used to complete this project, the rubric used to grade them and Goochland County’s G21 Rubric.

Steps_Mural Making

Mural_Rubric

G21 SY 2013_14

Following are abbreviated student podcasts of their murals, followed by their digital murals.

Student_Podcast and Mural 1

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Student_Podcast_Mural_2

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Student_Podcast_Mural_3

_______________________

 Student Podcast and Mural 4

_______________________

Student_Podcast_Mural_5

_______________________

Student_Podcast_Mural_6

“Go Beyond the Content”

On April 9th, I attended Scott Habeeb’s “Go Beyond the Content.” The title of the conference caught my attention and so I signed up for it! I am so glad I did. The message Mr. Habeeb promotes in his workshops/blog site corresponds to my own philosophy of teaching. His words rang true. Why have I chosen teaching as a career? What is more important as a teacher? Teaching content or changing students lives? These are the question Mr. Habeeb posed at the very beginning of his workshop. The people at my table turned and looked at each other with a look like “that’s a no brainer question!” The answer was unanimous…Of course we’re teachers primarily to develop student relationships and to impact children’s lives. Which teachers wouldn’t say this? It is good to be reminded of this question especially around this time of year when standardized testing becomes all-encompassing!

For me, it’s always been about student relationships. As a teacher, I want to be remembered in my student’s lives as the one who cared about them. But, mostly, I want to be remembered as the one who taught them something “beyond the content.” I want to be remembered as the teacher who pointed my students towards helping them make right decisions in their lives. Mr. Habeeb put it perfectly when he said “Life = Sum total of the choices you make.” He talked about how teachers must chose to be the “compass” or the “Mt. Olympus” in children’s lives. We as teachers have a choice regarding the impact we make in student’s lives. You can check out more about what Mr. Habeeb has to say at the following site entitled “Go Beyond the Content: Creating a Curriculum to Alter Students’ Beliefs About Life.” I highly recommend that every teacher listen to what Mr. Habeeb has to say.  There is one thing that he said that really stuck out to me and which sums up the workshop for me, again reinforcing my own philosophy as a teacher. “It’s not how much you know, but who you are that makes a great teacher!”

Edmodo

I recently stumbled across Lizzie Pinard’s blog “Reflections of an English Language Teacher.” Check out her blogposts on the “5 ways of using Edmodo with language learners; part 2.” 

One of the many uses she provides for the use of Edmodo is “Article Sharing and Discussion.” I promptly set up an account for my ESOL class and students joined via their own accounts. We participated in our first class discussion of an article/unit of study in our reading selection from Shining Star “We Can Be Heroes.”

My students were excited to transfer their journal writing to an online forum. Already, they have posted their journal entries/reflections on the reading passage and have provided feedback to their classmates. I did too! The best part about the activity is that the forum is open to teachers/students alike, allowing for a positive and interactive learning environment. I’m very excited to continue using Edmodo in the future with my ESOL classes.

G21 Projects; Part II

“It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.” Emiliano Zapata quotes.

For my annual G21 project, 2013-14, my ESOL students and I studied the Mexican Revolution through the mural art depictions of Diego Rivera. To access the entire lesson plan, plus student handouts, go to PBS.org “The Storm that Swept Mexico.” The first part of this lesson consisted of having students discover the history behind the Mexican Revolution and analyze the art of Diego Rivera “Dream of a Sunday Afternoon.” Students researched one Mexican Revolution hero and created jigsaw posters which each student shared with the class.

The final step of this project consists of having students create a mural through the use of technology.  All murals will be composed of public domain digital images that can be used/modified. Students will need to choose topics that pertain to circumstance (or problem) in their personal life, school, community, or country that they would like to address or improve.  They will be required to demonstrate how they are involved in addressing the problem through presentation of personal images or symbols in their murals. They will create their mural in three separate powerpoint slides on google docs. Finally, students will compose a written artist statement and demonstrate knowledge of their research by presenting their murals to different classes throughout the school.

This project involves extensive research and written artist statement which ties in elements of literature such as universal themes, symbolism, and imagery.

Attached are the WIDA templates I created that tie VA SOL standards to the WIDA ELD standards.

Research (Informational material.anaylsis) Mural_WIDA_Rubric

Writing (Informational writing, informational, explanatory, analysis) Mural_WIDA_Rubric_2

 

 

Wikipedia in Spanish

Our Goochland High School Instructional Technology Resource teacher recently paid a visit to my ESOL High School class to provide some iPod safety and appropriate use tips.

During this visit, she provided my class some helpful information on didactical uses for the iPod. One tip which she provided is a “no brainer” related to the use of Wikipedia in Spanish. Because several of my High School ELLs are levels 2 and 3, they are inundated with a vast amount of spoken and written information. Many times, it’s difficult to process and understand so much vocabulary at such a low ELL level. How would you like to take U.S. History II when you are ELL 2? In addition to language gaps, my students also encounter background and content gaps. Our technology resource teacher suggested ESOL students pull up the Spanish translations of the lessons they are learning on Wikipedia to access information they don’t understand. Because my ESOL students have iPods, they can access this information in their own language and in class when the teacher is presenting on the same topic. As you know, Wikipedia provides a Spanish translation of most topics and is rapidly becoming more recognized as a reliable resource for information.

Today in class we practiced looking up Wikipedia resources in Spanish on the iPod. We have been learning about the Mexican Revolution -so I had students research the same information on Wikipedia in Spanish. It was a great practice run! I was able to ask students to summarize things they learned from reading in their first language (Spanish) into English.

Global Perspective; “Monolingualism is the Illiteracy of the 21st century.”

I couldn’t help stumble across this article entitled Training for the Future: Northeast Students think Globally with Curriculum (with Video).

This article talks about how Ohio schools are integrating project-based language programs into their curriculum, as a proactive approach to prepare students for the future. The key to their program is the use of creative applications of technology, through video conferencing and through the use of “multitude of platforms that weren’t available even 10 years ago.”

This article pays tribute to the fact that we are increasingly becoming a global economy and community, and the use of technology is narrowing the chasm between all countries. Ted Krejsa, one of the teachers in the Kenston School District, pointed out a quote attributed to Gregg Roberts of the Utah State Office of Education — in which he states “Monolingualism is the illiteracy of the 21st century.” I couldn’t agree more with this statement. We as Americans-have commodious access to the powerful tool of technology.  Yet we are not as proactive as we should be in our approach to dual language acquisition. We should be starting children out in second language programs at the elementary school level, not high school level. Very little time is spent during the school day when it comes to creating awareness of global customs/attitudes. Usually, these areas are taught as “electives.” In my opinion, schools should be integrating these two important things into every single class to be taught throughout the school day.

In conclusion, I can not help but point out something positive happening here at Goochland High School, and which pertains to this issue. I currently have several ESOL students in Mr. McKinnon’s grade 9 English class. Check out this project at Mr. McKinnon’s blog in which he/students are communicating with students in Kurgan, Russia. This project shows that through the use of technology, we can interact globally. I can only hope that other teachers in the county-myself included-will follow in Mr. McKinnon’s footsteps when it comes to raising global awareness in mainstream classes.

 

Ms. Ashley, an Amazing Lady

Last Wednesday, Ms. Ashley and myself made a home visit to one of my ESOL student’s home. Above is a picture of Ms. Ashely and an ESOL student at the family kitchen table.

Ms. Ashley is a math tutor and regular Goochland County substitute who selflessly devotes her time and energy to work with students in the area of math. If I were to coin one phrase that embodies Ms. Ashley’s attitude, it would be “passionate enthusiasm and selfless dedication for student success.” Ms. Ashley patiently prods students when she sees them failing. For example, when a students doesn’t show up to a tutoring session and she sees their grades slipping, Ms. Ashley will pop her head into at my classroom to encourage the student to seek assistance. She will go out of her way to work out an alternative times to meet with students if there are time/transportation conflicts. In addition to being in touch with my student’s math teachers, Ms. Ashley has no qualms to accompany me on a home visit to inform the student’s parents of the importance of arranging after school tutoring sessions.  She goes out of her way to make sure my students succeed.

To add to the time and energy Ms. Ashley pours into working with ALL Goochland County students, she knows how to celebrate their successes. Recently, Ms. Ashley provided my ESOL student with M&M’s when she got an “A” on her test. She even brought my student home-made cupcakes to recognize her birthday.

Ms. Ashley is a truly amazing and devoted Goochland substitute and math tutor, whose services goes unnoticed because she never seeks recognition. Thank you Ms. Ashely for all that you do!!!!

2013 Outstanding Volunteer Recognition Luncheon

On Thursday, November 14th, I accompanied Ms. Selma to the annual Goochland Chamber of Commerce Recognition Luncheon at the Hermitage Country Club.  Ms. Selma selflessly volunteers with my students in the Middle and High School ESOL resource classes 6-9 hours each week.

Following is a picture of Ms. Selma and myself at the luncheon. The additional picture shows Ms. Selma and the entire group of 2013 Goochland County Outstanding Volunteers.

 

G-21 Project Part I

“It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.” Emiliano Zapata quotes.

For my annual G21 project, 2013-14, my ESOL students and I are studying the Mexican Revolution through the mural art depictions of Diego Rivera. To access the entire lesson plan, plus student handouts, go to PBS.org “The Storm that Swept Mexico.” This lesson consists of having students discover the history behind the Mexican Revolution, analyze the art of Diego Rivera “Dream of a Sunday Afternoon,” and finally create their own artist statement and mural through the use of technology.

The High School and Middle School ESOL students have just completed the first steps for this G-21 Project. After being introduced to the mural “Dream of a Sunday Afternoon,” and key vocabulary pertaining to the Mexican Revolution, students (and myself included) completed a jigsaw poster activity in which they researched and presented on key figures of the Mexican Revolution; Porfirio Diaz, Pascual Orozco, Francisco Villa, Francisco Madero, and Emiliano Zapata.

Following are pictures of my students and I presenting our posters to each other. During our presentations, we filled out own jigsaw handouts. Finally, I held students accountable for the information by providing them a small assessment/essay at the end in which they wrote about their most favorite revolutionary person and defended their reasons why.